Tea. Sleeping Kittens. The Smell of Old Books. Expensive Cheese. Painted Toenails. Lounging Around. Coffee Beans. Weddings. Poached Eggs. Napping. Candles. Secrets. Photographs. Harry Potter. Sex. Hand Holding. Fabulous Hair. Ribbons. Dinosaurs. Rage comics. Air Guitar. Montages. Swooning. Red Grapes. Sleeping. Paper Bags. Stockings. Canvas. Daydreaming. Piles of Book's. Cheap Dvd's. Cheeky Emails. Hand-made anythings. Whispering. Red Hair. Roller Derby. Jam. Laughing. Raspberry Lollies. Hugs. Letter's. Family. Batman. Flowers. Avocado. Art. Text's. Love.

Monday, August 30, 2010

It is my birthday soon Ladies and Gentlemen.
I do love a good birthday.
Unfortunately, I've been told I can become a wee bit of a brat around birthday time.
I have a bad habit of using it as an excuse for pretty much everything.
"Do I have to wear pants? It's my biiiiiiiiiiirthday"
"Do I have to do the dishes? It's my biiiiiiiiiiiiirthday"
"It's my biiiiiiirthday, I don't want to walk, please piggyback me to the kitchen"

You get the drift.

It's a tradition in my family to make a wish list around birthday/Christmas time. The list is always handy for the less imaginative family members who often think that beige underwear that pulls up under my boobs and a are a great present for me. Don't get me wrong, a creative, home-made gift is proffered a thousand times to anything on the list, but there are just some things that I'd be better off without. Sometimes our lists are funny. For instance, my Mum in a fit of teenage rebellion and wanting to desperately be like David Bowie, shaved off her eyebrows and they never grew back. So new eyebrows have been a regular feature on her lists. I remember once creating a list when I was younger that was mainly comprised of wild and exotic animals. There are often requests for sports teams to win grand finals and old cars to become expensive sports cars. We always seem to full fill those requests somehow, even if they are not in the ways the list write expected.

My list this year isn't particularly imaginative.
It's things I've swooned over for a while and in no way need.
It's a pure WANT list this year.

There are two cook books that I've had my greedy little eyes on for a while.

The AMAZING Stephanie Alexander's The Cooks Companion. An oldie, but such a goodie. You simply look at what you've got in your fridge. Look in the book and BAM. Incredible meal. Le sigh.

I've had this Mastering the Art of French Cooking saved in my Amazon wish-list since I saw Julie and Julia. It's a beautiful set of both volumes in hardback. I must have.

I'd really like a bit of pampering. There is a relaxation centre called Ambience near where I live and some of their treatments looks mind blowing. There is something on there called a Deluxe one an a half hour body wrap and massage that looks like heaven.

Louis Theroux is one of my favourite documentary makers. He is so awkwardd and geeky and I rememberspendingg a lot of time curled up in bed religiously watching his Weird Weekend shows. I love him, he is great. I found a great big list of all of his documentaries on DVD and nearly cried with joy. So, I'd love some of those.

The last things is a Self Present.

I'm blessed with being able to buy things for myself. I'm a very lucky girl and I have everything I need in the world. Now I'm all settled in my little house I'm missing one very important thing.

Yes. It's kitten time!

October 5th is the day that I pick up my baby from the Fairfield pound. I don't know what he or she looks like, all I know if that they will be tiny, fluffy and all MINE.
I can't wait.

24 Days and counting!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Thank you so much Amy for this little piece of awesome.
I do believe it is my very first Blog Award. Yippee!

The rules of the tag are:

1. Post who gave you this award
2. State 10 things you like
3. Give this award to 10 other bloggers and notify them with a comment

So here they are in no particular order -

1. My little house.

I just moved into my very first house about three weeks ago with Spomes. We've both never had a house before, always staying in friends spare rooms, or in houses that had already been established. It feels wonderful to have all of my things in every room and to come home knowing that it is our own cosy slice of heaven. We still say "Hello House!" every time we come home and even cleaning it is still a novelty!

2. My Spomes.

My best friend. He is so wonderful, i could go on forever.
He is pretty much my everything. Le sigh. Love.

3. FOOD.

Oh Food, darling Food.
I love thee.
Chopping you up. Steaming you. Mashing you. Cooking you into scrumptious things.
You are really, my favourite thing. Look at you! I dream about you often.
I spend many happy hours of my weeks creating delicious meals with you, preserving you into jams and chutneys and baking you into cakes and brownies. I take pleasure watching my friends nom creations that i have made with you.
Please don't ever stop being so amazing.
Your humble slave for life,

4. Harry Potter.

Yes, it is true. I'm obsessed with everything to do with Harry Potter.
Utterly and slightly scarily obsessed.
Just the other day i was walking past a bookstore and caught the slightest hint of a Harry related display, i squeaked, looked at Spomes who, bless him, giggled and took my bags so i could sprint madly into the store with my hands flailing about and a giant grin on my face.
It was a Harry Potter pop-up book and of course i bought it.
So yes, it is heaven to me, I'm a natural bookworm, my nose is always buried in something so curling up with a book as imaginative and magical as Harry is bliss. I first picked it up many moons ago when the first and second books had already been released and it blew my mind, i fell in to the world of Harry and never wanted to get out. I even dressed up and waited in line with hundred of other people (read - children under the age of ten) for the release of each new book that came out. Yes. Uber nerd.


Crazy Cat Lady for life. That's me. Anything that slightly eludes to the feline form makes me meep and squeak. I adore them. I worship them.
I've had cats all my life. They fascinate me, i used to spend hours when i was younger watching my cats play with each other and sleeping. There is something about them that is incredibly calming.

When i return from Japan in October it will finally be my chance to adopt a kitten of my own. I haven't had one for a good few years and I'm positively aching for a little, purring bundle of fluff to call my own. I've already started scouring the adoptions sites and ringing around the shelters. The only problem i now face is not taking home two!

6. Family.

I've posted about them before.
I have an odd family. I often get told this. We are a little bit mental and a little bit wonderful. We have our issues, we have our drama's but we do actually love each other to bit's.
There is just four of us in our little family. There is Me, My brilliant Mum, My step-Dad Bill and my little brother Stephen and I'll fight you to the death if you do anything to hurt them.

Special mention to my Mumsy. The strongest woman I know. In the last two years she has battled breast cancer and a stroke while working full time. She is Wonder Woman and my inspiration.

7. Picnics.

Picnics are so romantic. Pretty dresses, sunshine, big hats, finger food. Heaven.
They combine my two favourite activities of eating and lounging and stick it under a beautiful tree in a park. What more could i want?

8. These losers.

My lovely friends. They are the most brilliant people i know. Moving away from them for eighteen months was so very hard and it made me realise how much i love their faces off. We are a big, ridiculous, happy family and we will still be a big, ridiculous, happy family when we are all old and wrinkly.

9. Movies.

I'm a movie addict. Anything will do! Old movies. New Movies. Action, Horror, Bio's, History, Rom-Coms, Foreign. I'll watch it all. (Wait! Apart from anything titled along the lines of Epic Movie, Scary Movie 1 - 17 etc - These people must die) I love getting absorbed in the story and in the characters lives, for me it is another wonderful way of escaping for a few hours to another world.

10. Flowers.

Every person should fill their life with flowers.
They are beautiful, natural and make me smile.

Also, in no particular order are the blogs that i visit the most and who deserve their own Sweet Friend award.

Read and prepare to dribble all over the keyboard.

Homemade Molly.
For creative DIY bits and pieces and cooking adventures.

All Cats Are Grey At Night.

Beautiful clothes and an obsession with coffee!

Fifties Fever.
One of my favourites. Everyday life combined with fabulous vintage creations and home wares and a lovely backing track.

The Day Began With...

Follow the adventures of a good friend of mine.

Frocks and Frou Frou.
Gorgeous blog from a gorgeous lady.

Homemade By Holman.

Dribble. Nom. Dribble. Nom.

WOW! So Sparkly.

Sally-anne is cheeky and adorable and we all love her.

My Delicious Blog.

Follow Joe's wonderful adventures and swoon over his photographs, you will never look back.

Vivien Von Dimples.

Because she is truly fabulous.

Love to you all. Thank you for making my days shine.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lamb Shank and Barley soup. Or - Hug in a bowl.

This afternoon it was cold. windy and a little bit miserable.

I decided to dabble in the fine art of soup making.
I'm an avid fan of soup. It's always warm, always tasty and never fails to fill me up and make me feel warm and cosy. It's the perfect meal when you are lazy, it's delicious with a giant piece of crusty bread, or if you are in a rush it's easy to zap in the microwave and nom. It makes me happy.

Today i spent the afternoon making Lamb Shank and Barley Soup.

Here's what i did.

It takes about twenty minutes of preparation time and two hours of cooking, so some patience is required.

Purchase le following -
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 6 trimmed lamb shanks (I'm a little poor at the moment, so i only used 4)
  • 3 potato's, roughly chopped and cooked
  • 2 large chopped onions
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 diced carrots
  • 2 sticks diced celery
  • 2 litres beef stock
  • 1 litre water
  • 3/4 cup pearl barley
  • 2 tbs chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

Again, i had everything chopped up and placed in neat little bowls in front of me.

Heat the olive oil in a pan, make sure it's nice and hot and then place in the lamb. Be careful because they hiss and spit like there is no tomorrow. You only need to turn the shanks once.

Put the lamb aside in a bowl to rest.

Add the potato, garlic, onion, celery and carrot to the hot pan and cook until they are slightly brown.

At this point you may need to swap over to the biggest pan you can find. I used the one that i make jams in because it's bigger than my head.


When your veggies are brown, put the shanks back in the pan and the stock, water, barley and two teaspoons of the rosemary.

Hoorah! I got to use my Mezzaluna again to chop the rosemary! Wheeee!

Bring your concoction to the boil and then reduce the temperature and simmer, covered for two hours. I suggest curling up with a good book while the delicious lamb smells wafts through your house. I started making my Chocolate Mint Brownies. Heeeeh.

After two hours, pull out the shanks and set them aside to cool slightly. (I cheated and banged them in the fridge) When they are cool enough, pull off the meat from the bone and shred slightly.

When you have finished removing the meat, return it to the soup and discard the bones. Add the rest of the Rosemary and season with salt and pepper to taste.

It's a massive amount of soup so when it is cool, you can separate it into containers and freeze. It will last for about three months frozen.

Tonight, Spomey and I ate ours with cheesy herb bread that i grilled slightly.

It was amazing.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I've just had the most wonderful afternoon.

Darling Diana and I loaded ourselves up with green bags and headed off to the Rocklea markets for a produce buying spree. Diana has been a few times, both on a Wednesday afternoon and early Saturday, when the market are in full swing. Her raving finally got to me this morning after shopping with Spomes at Woolworth's and getting cranky at the ridiculous price of fruits and vegetables, so i decided to take her up on her offer of a personal guided tour of the markets. Have you ever been to this wonderful place? The amazing stall holders are kind enough to sell their wares from 3 until 8pm every Wednesday for those lazy people (read - Me) who cannot get up on a Saturday morning at the crack of dawn.

We arrived just before 4pm and i had to contain my excitement as i glimpsed at the first row of colourful fruits and vegetables on offer. It took all my willpower not to go sprinting through the aisles and diving into the piles of fresh fruit that were making me dribble. Being clever and organised i had jotted down a list of things that we needed for the next week or so. (It would try to prevent me from buying anything too unnecessary - like everything) I'd also noted the prices of the produce in Woolworth's so i could compare them to the market and secretly gloat. OH MY what a massive difference in price! For instance, my favorite Pink Lady apples were $4.98 per kilo in Woolies but at the magical markets the were only $1.80! WHEE!

Needless to say, i went a little crazy.

I did stick to my list mostly.
Everything was so cheap and delicious looking and i was able to get twice as much as i had planned for about a quarter of the price. I found a beautiful and giant Butternut Pumpkin nestled in a pile of potatoes and i had to take him home and make some more Spicy Pumpkin Butter. He was $2! Ridiculous compared to the 5 i had paid for the mere slice of pumpkin that i bought for my last batch. The two big punnet of Strawberries in the picture cost $7 for both, that was the most i spent on anything, including a kilo of Garlic bulbs!
There was a Spice Man at the entrance to the markets and he had an entire table of bags of spices ranging from Rosemary and Tarragon, to mixed spices for Lamb roasts and Spaghetti Bolognaise - Everything was $1.50. I bough two big bags of Cinnamon Sticks costing $3. I could of cried. The most expensive purchase apart from the strawberries was the sticks of rhubarb, probably the last of the season, they were $2.99 a bunch and i bought two so i can get to work making some more delicious Strawberry, Rhubarb and Vanilla jam for my friends who have been bugging me for weeks.
My mind was sufficiently blown.
I'm an utter convert and now a market junkie.

This fresh loaf of Ciabatta slipped inn my bag too.

And of course these chrysanthemums, so pretty!

It has become painfully obvious that we are in need of a Fruit bowl of some sort.

Tomorrow Diana and i are on the hunt for a sewing table so she can finally start her Sewing Adventures (and blog about them here!), we are hitting all the op-shops and antique places in Paddington/Bardon I'm going to have a rummage and see if i fall in love with a Side Table while we are shopping.
Amy and her Nick will be gracing us with their presence tonight to being night number one of our weekly 'Movies We Can't Believe Amy Hasn't Seen Yet' nights.
Movie number one? Back to the Future!
I'm making my Lamb Pizza for Spomes and I and some sort of Veggie Pizz-wich (pizza sandwich) for those two. We also bought popcorn, FUN!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The easiest and most delicious pie in the world.

Yesterday was our friend Nicks last day in Australia, so as a farewell dinner i knocked up my favorite chicken pie.

Here's what i did.

Purchase the following from your friendly local supermarket -

(This recipe makes about four decent sized individual pies or two GIANT ones)


  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 30g butter
  • 500g chicken breast fillet, cut into 2cm chunks
  • 1 leek, white part only, finely sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbs flour
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) white wine or water (I'm cheap, so i used water only)
  • 1 cup (250ml) chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) thick cream
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, cooked, diced
  • 1 large potato, peeled, boiled, diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas, cooked
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh or 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
  • 4 sheets puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

I like to have everything chopped and ready before i start cooking. Also, if i have everything in front of me in neat, little bowls when i cook i feel like a television presenter on a cooking show.
(I may sometimes narrate out loud.....SHHH)

Leeks, potato, garlic and carrot.

Flour, cream, peas, beaten egg and chicken stock ready for action. (I actually ran out of flour last night so i just used corn flour. I have no idea of the difference between corn and plain flour for savory foods because the pies tasted delicious, so if someone would like to enlighten me - please do!)

Preheat your oven until it is nice and hot.
Have your potatoes and carrot boiling away in a small pot. (I used butter and a little salt in the water too make the veggies all tasty-like - You can use oil if you are trying to be good) Place the butter and oil in a frying pan and brown the chicken pieces. Once cooked, put the chicken to one side to rest, drain the veggie water and let them chill out with the chicken.

Add the leek and the garlic to the hot pan, you may need to add a little more oil. Cook for a few minutes until they are nice and soft and that delicious garlic smell starts wafting through the house.
Add the flour, and water and cook for one minute. Stir in the stock and cream and bring to a boil for another couple of minutes.

Add the chicken, potatoes, carrots and tarragon and season well. Let that cook for another minute. The smell will be driving you crazy at the moment, feel free to sneak a taste and add more salt or pepper until it is too your liking then set aside to cool.

Cut one thick strip (4cm) off the side of each sheet of puff pastry and put it to the side. Dollop a generous portion of the cooled mixture in the middle of each bit of pastry and bring the four corners up together (If you twist them all together it looks really pretty at the end). Press any holes together with your fingers to ensure that none of the mixture escapes and brush over each pie with the egg mix. Don't forget to pierce a few holes in each one with a fork so things don't get messy when you cook them.

Bang them in the oven for at least 20 minutes, checking them when they start turning a delicious golden brown. Allow the pies to cool for a few minutes before you serve them because the pie mix is ridiculously hot.

Serve with salad, chips, veggies - anything!
(bang a few in the freezer and microwave them in a few days for a quick, delicious lunch)

And Enjoy!

Oh, don't forget the washing up.

Friday, August 6, 2010


We are all so utterly exhausted! Have you ever moved before? I'm pretty sure it is one of the most stressful and draining activities one can engage in. SO much packing and lifting and heaving and sweating. It's terrible! Although, I can now safely say after much of the previous sentence combined with sorting and scrubbing and shuffling and dusting we are finally all settled into our new digs and we are very, very proud. We don't have curtains or a fridge, but it's ours and we love it.

Up we rose on Saturday morning at the crack of dawn to pick up the giant Ute we had hired for the day. Spomes headed off down to Morayfield to pick up a bar he had inherited from his Grandpa while I finished packing our last few bits and pieces at the old place (or shuffling around like a sleep deprived zombie sweeping things into green bags).

The bar is beautiful, it's made of old, solid wood that weighed a tonne and took four of us to hoist up the stairs but it now sits proudly in the dining room with it's matching wooden stools. Grandma Spomes even gave us some exquisite glass decanters to decorate the bar (and maybe one day fill with some very expensive alcohol – I can dream!).

That is pretty much the only thing in the dining room at the present time, I'd like a little table for four in there one day so I can have people around for magnificent dinners.

After the bar was in place, Amy and her Nick, Spomes and his friend Tim and I started on the rest of our stuff. The apartment we were moving from is on the fourth floor of a block so a lot of the moving involved us basically pushing things down the stairs and hoping that we weren't trampled to death by our tumbling furniture (Responsible, I know). The entrances to our new home are very narrow, it's an old Queenslander and up on stilts, so there are stairs on either side. It was obvious that some of our furniture was not going to fit through either of the doors, so we did the next best thing and starting passing/shoving/throwing the furniture up over the balcony and through the glass doors. It took five of us, three cars, one Ute and about five hours but we managed to get everything in place and even squeeze in time for a TV delivery. (Spomes pride and joy at the moment is a million inch flat/plasma/HD high-tech television that he has been drooling over for several months. The second that his tax went into his account he sprinted to the nearest television shop and bought his baby, now it is perched on it's IKEA throne while he lovingly fiddles with all the controllers. It's kinda cute, his clothes are still in bags all over the floor, but that TV is tuned to perfection.)

It's a monster, isn't it?

We've been spending most of our time around work unpacking and setting up our things. We still don't have any bookshelves (and probably won't until our bank accounts stop resembling a gutted, wasteland) and the inner housewife in me would like some nice side tables to place my various girly things on, but the house now looks like someone is living in it comfortably instead of squatting. Saturday night we decided to throw an impromptu Mexican mini-feast for Amy and Nick to say a big THANK YOU for helping us move. We really couldn't of done it without them, and although they are probably still grumbling about us from their house and nursing their moving bruises and sprains, we love them and owe them BIG TIME. Dinner was nice, we were all so worn out from the days activities that after we had stuffed ourselves silly on tacos, beer and fajitas we pretty much just lazed around until ten thirty and then the guys dragged themselves home. Party animals.

I'm ludicrously in love with my kitchen. I love, worship and adore it. IT'S MINE! I've never had a kitchen of my very own before and I'm enjoying pottering around it WAY too much.

Although it's not finished, It's nice to have all my things out finally. They have been packed away in boxes and hiding in my old room for far too long! Sure, I don't have a fridge, toaster or microwave so I can't really cook or bake anything for a few more days, but I enjoy being in it all the same. I can't wait until we do our big shop for all our foodie things, I have an empty spice rack that needs things to love, and a shelf full of home made jams and chutneys and no real food to put them with! Tonight I created a quick pasta concoction that required no perishable items or refrigeration except for a bit of chorizo that Spomey brought home after work. I got to break in my new pans and knives and it was glorious! Hacking up the herbs (fresh from my window sill!) with my Mezzaluna was the best, I've never used one before, just swooned over Nigella going to work with one, so it was nice to finally try it out.

It's odd being in a house at long last. I feel so incredibly blessed to have everything go as smoothly as it did. I can see myself in this house for a long time and I know that now I'm move and settled, things will only get better. I can also bake a tonne of awesome things and start dabbling in 'How To' blogging. YAY!!!

Now, I have things to sweep and shelves to dust, I wonder how long the novelty of cleaning will last!

EDIT - I got a fridge yesterday! Proudly it sits in the kitchen with all of four things in it.